Grace and peace to you in the name of Holy and Blessed Trinity.
The Holy Scriptures contain many accounts of the journeys of God’s people. Abraham and Sarah wandered throughout their lives. The Israelites left slavery in Egypt in search of a promised land. The Wise Men travelled from the East to see the Christ Child. Paul’s ministry took him on many missionary trips throughout the Mediterranean.
In July our congregation will begin to fully re-open and it has been a long journey back to this point. This is an exciting time as we begin to assemble together for worship, Christian education, service events, and fellowship. We give thanks to God for the opportunity to come together safely. We offer our thanks for God’s presence, grace and mercy that have sustained us through these last sixteen months. Our thoughts and prayers remain with all those who have been affected by COVID-19: for the sick, for those who mourn, for those affected economically, and for all whose lives were turned topsy-turvy throughout the year. We also remember those who died throughout this pandemic and those who could not gather easily to mourn and grieve together. Towards the end of the summer we will be including a celebration of life service as part of our Sunday morning worship to remember all those who have died during the time of the pandemic.
This is a time filled with opportunity for Christ Lutheran as we come back together and reconnect in some new and exciting ways. We plan on exploring new worship opportunities and styles. We are working to refresh and renew our church facility so that it can continue to serve as a place to gather and to draw others into this community of faith. Plans are underway to connect more regularly with children, youth, and families as well as with seniors and visitors to our community. Your energy, enthusiasm, insights, and help are needed and welcomed.
The pandemic has certainly reshaped the world, the community of Gettysburg, and Christ Lutheran Church. What remains unchanged is the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior came to dwell among God’s people. His death and resurrection offer a message of forgiveness and life for all. His Way embodies love and hope for humanity. In this midst of this challenging time we cling to this steadfast and ever-present truth. Furthermore, we recognize our important role to share this good news message with the Gettysburg area and the world.
As we continue to work through reopening and coming back together in person, I encourage all of us to come together and support one another. Everyone has had a challenging experience and each person’s journey has been different. It is my hope that we can emerge from this pandemic with a renewed commitment to prioritizing our faith, loving all people, sharing a deep commitment to extend the good news of God with all, and invite others to join us on this journey of faith, hope, and love.
I look forward to serving God with you as we come back together in the name of Jesus Christ.
Your servant in Christ,
Pastor Stephen Herr